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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: MrNate on November 29, 2010, 06:07:11 AM

Title: Looking at Windows 7 phones
Post by: MrNate on November 29, 2010, 06:07:11 AM
Anyone have one yet? I'm looking at the LG Quantum or Samsung Focus, but I'm not really sure I like either of them.

So... any windows phone technorati here?
Title: Re: Looking at Windows 7 phones
Post by: glitterbug on November 29, 2010, 06:28:25 PM
I have not paid much attention to the windows phone. I switched from iphone to android a few months back and have been very happy.

You should check the forums over at http://forum.xda-developers.com/ they have phone model specific subforums for the models you are looking at.

If you have never seen\used a win7 phone, you may be able to play with it via your computer using the development environment and an emulator: http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/20/taking-the-windows-phone-7-series-emulator-for-a-test-drive-vid/ or http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff402563%28VS.92%29.aspx 

Finally, a really long windows phone review: http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/reviews/2010/10/windows-phone-7-the-ars-review.ars
Title: Re: Looking at Windows 7 phones
Post by: MrNate on November 29, 2010, 08:43:56 PM
Cool, reading the ArsTechnica review now.
Title: Re: Looking at Windows 7 phones
Post by: euge on November 30, 2010, 07:37:51 PM
I read it (mostly) as well. Haven't handled or seen a phone with it yet, but I like the big buttons. That would work well with my stubby fingers.

The detractor IMO is it's designed/aimed at social network users ie Facebook. Automatic deal killer. But the appeal is there for those that use that sort of nonsense.

The pro as I see it is that it is "a stand alone device" and one doesn't need a PC to fully use it like other devices (iPhone anyone?). This goes along way on my book.

I just don't see it being as flexible or configurable as an Android phone. Furthermore my trust of using anything Microsoft was shot long ago. I figure windows 7 will show it's instability and insecurity as time progresses.
Title: Re: Looking at Windows 7 phones
Post by: glitterbug on November 30, 2010, 08:09:16 PM
I just don't see it being as flexible or configurable as an Android phone.

You could do some crazy things with WM devices. Hopefully the 7 phones will continue the tradition.




Title: Re: Looking at Windows 7 phones
Post by: MrNate on November 30, 2010, 08:53:49 PM
The detractor IMO is it's designed/aimed at social network users ie Facebook. Automatic deal killer. But the appeal is there for those that use that sort of nonsense.
I've heard this criticism before, but I've yet to hear with any specificity how, exactly, their FB integration detracts from the device's overall functionality. In other words, I don't see how it's especially true, or if it were, how it's relevant. Not trying to be a fanboy, but if you have anything specific in mind I'd like to hear it.

I just don't see it being as flexible or configurable as an Android phone.
Maybe. MS did set rigid hardware guidelines at the outset, so my suspicion is that they simply haven't written the APIs for the accelerometer, compass, and camera for all the OEMs yet. My instinct tells me they will, because there doesn't seem to be any business or political reason not to, and they'll be necessary for a competitive apps market. Also, it's not the UI clusterduck that Android is, so ya takes the good and takes the bad, I suppose.

The one thing that does concern me is the lack of tethering and hotspotting support. That does seem like something important that just might never materialize.
Title: Re: Looking at Windows 7 phones
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on November 30, 2010, 08:57:46 PM
Anyone have one yet? I'm looking at the LG Quantum or Samsung Focus, but I'm not really sure I like either of them.

So... any windows phone technorati here?
Do you feel like rebooting your phone every day?
Title: Re: Looking at Windows 7 phones
Post by: MrNate on November 30, 2010, 09:00:59 PM
Anyone have one yet? I'm looking at the LG Quantum or Samsung Focus, but I'm not really sure I like either of them.

So... any windows phone technorati here?
Do you feel like rebooting your phone every day?
No, will I have to?
Title: Re: Looking at Windows 7 phones
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on November 30, 2010, 09:24:39 PM
Anyone have one yet? I'm looking at the LG Quantum or Samsung Focus, but I'm not really sure I like either of them.

So... any windows phone technorati here?
Do you feel like rebooting your phone every day?
No, will I have to?
Friend of mine used to have Windows phone (T-mobile carrier) and that was what he ended up doing.
Phone was locking up all the time.
Title: Re: Looking at Windows 7 phones
Post by: glitterbug on November 30, 2010, 10:21:36 PM
Anyone have one yet? I'm looking at the LG Quantum or Samsung Focus, but I'm not really sure I like either of them.

So... any windows phone technorati here?
Do you feel like rebooting your phone every day?
No, will I have to?

Some phones on the old "Windows Mobile" platform needed to be rebooted. The new "Windows Phone" is a brand new platform built from scratch and should not have the same problems as the old platform.
Title: Re: Looking at Windows 7 phones
Post by: MrNate on November 30, 2010, 10:27:57 PM
Some phones on the old "Windows Mobile" platform needed to be rebooted. The new "Windows Phone" is a brand new platform built from scratch and should not have the same problems as the old platform.

Still the CE kernel, though. Not to mention that frequent reboots often indicate driver issues, and this is 1st gen firmware. I was really hoping to find someone who had either of the 2 specific devices I was considering. I'm not a huge fan of heresay.

Well, now that I think about it IE has historically been pretty leaky, though not as bad as Mozilla. That's another thing I'm not really happy about. If I could run Chrome on WP7, I'd be much happier.
Title: Re: Looking at Windows 7 phones
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on November 30, 2010, 10:46:18 PM
I did not mean to burst your bubble.

Also my wife had a Trio on Sprint.
What a piece of junk that was.
Title: Re: Looking at Windows 7 phones
Post by: glitterbug on November 30, 2010, 11:15:46 PM
I was really hoping to find someone who had either of the 2 specific devices I was considering. I'm not a huge fan of heresay.

Ask around in the sub forums at xda. I'm sure someone there can give you an honest review from a end user perspective.
quantum forum: http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=821
focus forum: http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=780


Title: Re: Looking at Windows 7 phones
Post by: MrNate on December 01, 2010, 01:04:32 AM
I was really hoping to find someone who had either of the 2 specific devices I was considering. I'm not a huge fan of heresay.

Ask around in the sub forums at xda. I'm sure someone there can give you an honest review from a end user perspective.
quantum forum: http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=821
focus forum: http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=780

I couldn't wait for Christmas. I just picked up the Focus, and man is it awesome!
Title: Re: Looking at Windows 7 phones
Post by: euge on December 01, 2010, 04:29:47 AM
Well to be honest I'd like to mess with the phone some just to see how it is. My xenophobic tendencies leave me with a distrust of anything integrated with sites such as Facebook.  But it is popular so why not have the features people want?  MS is just appealing to their potential customers. Bouef. 
I was really hoping to find someone who had either of the 2 specific devices I was considering. I'm not a huge fan of heresay.

Ask around in the sub forums at xda. I'm sure someone there can give you an honest review from a end user perspective.
quantum forum: http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=821
focus forum: http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=780

I couldn't wait for Christmas. I just picked up the Focus, and man is it awesome!

Let us know more!

Title: Re: Looking at Windows 7 phones
Post by: MrNate on December 01, 2010, 05:26:39 PM
Sorry, I was up until the wee hours of the morning playing with my new toy.  ;D Now bear in mind that up until now, I was not a SmartPhone user. I've had a Motorola Razor forever, and I only started texting in the past couple of months. I am, however, a Windows developer. I'm not a fanboy, but the platform did have its appeal for that reason.

That being said, here's my quick-and-dirty review from a guy who has never before been swayed into early adoption.

First and foremost, I've never seen a UI before that has absolutely wowed me, and no, not even the iPhone. This did. It's got a few issues, but on the whole it is the cleanest, simplest, most intuitive UI that I've ever seen. The biggest problems I have are in the Marketplace (that'd be App Store to you) and in the 3rd party apps. I don't like wallpaper, especially not here. It distracts and detracts. And though MS has released very specific style guides for the Metro UI, almost no one uses it. I wish they would, because Metro is awesome and theirs nearly universally suck. This mishmash of suckage is one of my primary reasons for disliking Android.

As for social networking, I like the integration. I am a Facebook user, especially for keeping up with distant friends and relatives, and it is nice to have all of my contacts organized sensibly by person. Though I've finally admitted that I rarely use my phone to make calls anymore, this integration of text, voice, email, and social makes a lot of sense in what is still primarily a communications device. I continue to disagree with the criticism that this makes it not a SmartPhone. One thing that is lacking in the UI is notification of FB alerts, which should be present in both the Live tile and the "People" interface.

I also like the Exchange integration. I texted my boss to flip the switch on the server, entered my email and password, and boom - Full email and calandar synch. Beautiful.

There has also been criticism of the lack of an integrated mailbox. I love that lack. I configured 2 live tiles, one for Outlook and one for Gmail. All of my domain hosted personal email is aggregated into gMail (I never actually use my gMail address), so I have POP accounts which function very much like IMAP, with Google being the server, and I have Exchange for work, and never the two shall meet. I wish MS would add a gMail-type IMAP service to their Windows Live platform, because frankly, I hate the gMail interface.

Threaded email - Here's another debate point. I love the concept of threaded email, but I hate gMail's implentation of it. I wish that WP7 had a good implementation, but for my use, I don't miss it.

Calendar implementation is perfect. Perfect. There's absolutely nothing I would change about it. It keeps your personal appointments off Exchange, and work appointments off of Windows Live, but displays the aggregate. And it's damn nice looking, and damn easy to use.

Which brings us to the elephant in the room - Apps. There aren't a whole lot, but remember I'm not a current SmartPhone user, so I don't know what I "need" yet. I downloaded about a dozen free ones already though. Overall, I like the organization of installed apps (list view with search) but I dislike the Marketplace interface. I also don't like the lack of UI standardization. It would be nice if MS enforced Live Tile integration and UI at a minimum. Second, MS really needs to roll out hardware APIs for current devices. Third, and I don't know if it's the app developers or the APIs, but they could and should be integrated a lot better. Fourth, MS needs to start pushing Cloud framework and Windows Live integration for apps. Lastly, if they want to kick start their biggest weakness, they need to drop the yearly fee for developers and bring some apps to market.

As for hardware, the Super AMOLED screen on the Samsung Focus is beyond compare. It has clarity and a richness of color that I have never seen on a screen before. It's light, thin, and the firmware buttons are great, with a slight buzzing tactile feedback. The camera is pretty good, but not quite as good as I hoped. The instant access button is one of those little things that makes a huge difference. However, the device does feel pretty fragile.

The Bad (highlights):
- Alarms are quiet. I wish there were a way to max out the volume irrespective of the system volume settings.
- No constant, visual WiFi/3G notification. If I'm paying for data, I want to know when I'm off WiFi.
- Likewise, I should be able to set email to synch only when on WiFi. I might be able to, but I didn't see the setting.
- I really wish I could swap out IE for Chrome.
- Needs better app integration
- No tethering/hotspotting
- No native GPS software. I'm not paying AT&T $10/mo for that.
- Haven't gotten into it yet, but as far as I can tell the Zune software doesn't support wireless synch (bluetooth or WiFi).
- No copy & paste
- Poor text selection/cursor positioning ability.
- Strange and inconsistient "back" button behavior.

But at least so far, no reboot has been needed. On the whole, I would highly recommend this device. Out of all the available platforms, MS seems best poised to move to the Cloud. They need to do it soon and do it right, because UIs get stale fast, and that functionality is going to be what makes this platform worth it.
Title: Re: Looking at Windows 7 phones
Post by: glitterbug on December 01, 2010, 06:14:40 PM
I really have to question microsoft's intelligence for not including copy\paste. It is a real pain in the ass looking up tracking numbers, transferring phone numbers, and other random stuff without it :-\ It seems minor but becomes really annoying as time drags on. Hopefully they can fix some of the problems with software updates.
Title: Re: Looking at Windows 7 phones
Post by: euge on December 01, 2010, 06:25:46 PM
I really have to question microsoft's intelligence for not including copy\paste. It is a real pain in the ass looking up tracking numbers, transferring phone numbers, and other random stuff without it :-\ It seems minor but becomes really annoying as time drags on. Hopefully they can fix some of the problems with software updates.

That actually is a serious flaw IMO. Is copy-paste really absent or maybe just a matter of figuring out how to do it? Took me a few days with the iPhone- which in this particular aspect has been much better than Android.
Title: Re: Looking at Windows 7 phones
Post by: glitterbug on December 01, 2010, 07:52:49 PM
I really have to question microsoft's intelligence for not including copy\paste. It is a real pain in the ass looking up tracking numbers, transferring phone numbers, and other random stuff without it :-\ It seems minor but becomes really annoying as time drags on. Hopefully they can fix some of the problems with software updates.

That actually is a serious flaw IMO. Is copy-paste really absent or maybe just a matter of figuring out how to do it? Took me a few days with the iPhone- which in this particular aspect has been much better than Android.

Copy and paste is not available in the windows phone. fwiw, the iphone did not have c&p for a long time.   
Title: Re: Looking at Windows 7 phones
Post by: MrNate on December 01, 2010, 08:09:50 PM
C & P is coming by 2011. I think one of the MS quotes I heard was, "We didn't think anyone would want that." I don't know how true that is, but it wouldn't surprise me from the old guard. One thing that I really dislike is their traditional attitude of, "The UI is perfect. You just don't understand it." Though to be fair, that's the mantra of *nix as well.

Obviously they have some people there pushing the UI envelope, and presumably actually listening to users, but I suspect we will never fully be rid of the old ways.

I should mention that for the most part, it's not really C & P that you want on this platform. What you really need is an option to "bump" this nugget of data to a specific field in a specific app. If I ask someone to text me someone else's number, it should use some sort of intellisense to recognize it as a number and allow me to immediately bump it to contacts, or just place a call. It might do this already, I'm not sure. Just an example. But the point is that it should be doing as much intelligent recognition as possible.